In 2013, The Nature Conservancy run a weekly green-themed Q&A with Revolution cast members. Their characters, in fact, have no choice but to exist in an electricity-free world reclaimed by nature, thanks to a (seemingly) permanent global blackout that forces them to rely on the planet for food, water and shelter, thus living closer to nature.
Here’s creator and executive producer Eric Kripke’s chat with Billy Burke about his appreciation for nature and ways to leave lighter footprints on our planet.
What’s your favorite movie set in nature?
Jeremiah Johnson. Loved it since I was a kid. All filmed in the area of the Colorado Rocky Mountains that became Robert Redford’s inspiration for the Sundance Institute.
What are you most excited for viewers to see on this season of Revolution?
For me it’s all about the dirt and dead ends on the road to understanding our humanity. One of the great themes of the show is learning to deal with what we’ve got. Our characters have to manipulate our circumstance and surroundings as best we can but those who don’t do it with respect don’t last long. The sacrifices we have to make in order to keep what and who we love and the hidden rewards therein — that’s what’s fun to watch.
What would you miss most if the power went out?
Music is pretty much the be all end all. Yeah, I can make my own but if I couldn’t listen to the great recordings anymore that would disintegrate a huge chunk of my soul.
What would you do if the power went out?
Impossible to answer. No one truly knows what they would or wouldn’t, could or couldn’t do. Human nature indicates that instinctually we’d all just try to not die.
What’s your favorite energy-saving tip?
Esoterically, I’d say why use more than you have to? It’s exhausting.
What’s your favorite part of being on Revolution?
I genuinely adore the lovely, tireless, gifted, insane people I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by.
Who are your environmental heroes?
I feel like the people we are all most indebted to are those who’s names we’ll never know. Those who spend their lives in silent servitude making sure the things most of us never think about get taken care of. I salute them endlessly wherever they may be.
Why is protecting the planet important to you?
Let’s face it we could all do better. When I watch my daughter collecting dead flowers in what she thinks is a beautiful bouquet, the irony is alarming.
What was your most memorable experience in nature?
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest on some of the more extraordinary landscapes we still have on this planet. I worked all through high school at the Mt. Baker Ski Area. Quite a few of the most intense and treasured moments of my youth took place on that mountain under that relentlessly grey, rainy sky.
What do you do to go green in your daily life?
Well, I’d love to say I drive a car fueled by exhaust-free recycled styrofoam but I don’t (it is a hybrid though). I wash it with tears to conserve water.
What do you do to go green on set?
If you watch the show you’ll see we do the abundance of our shooting outdoors. The settings are magnificent and we make all efforts to keep them that way. I’ve always been a big fan of cleaning up after myself.
Have you had any memorable nature encounters on set?
The “roast your face off” heat in Wilmington, NC in the summer is a constant reminder that the weather extremes ain’t gettin’ any kinder. Add a couple of sprints and a sword fight to that and you’ve got my nature memories of this past season.
Where’s your favorite Revolution shooting location?
I love it when we’re anywhere outside at night and it’s still balmy from the preceding day. When your skin is the same temperature as the air you feel like you’re a part of the hugeness. When it’s clear and you can look up and see the entire universe it makes you feel as small as you really are.
Where’s your favorite natural place?
Every place is natural. So again, esoterically I’d honestly say my favorite place is wherever I’m at. I’ve grown into a bit of a city boy since my early years so I don’t get away to wide open spaces much. I did love the Gold Coast of Australia. The Mexican Riviera is also pretty sweet. I think I’ll always have a soft spot for the Cascade mountains of Washington State though.
Do you have any natural beauty tips?
Please. You got any for me?
What’s your favorite organic food/snack/meal?
Wine? That’s organic, right?
What would you bring on an Earth Day picnic?
My daughter and an arugula salad. Yeah, she’s 4 years old and actually loves arugula.
– Interview by Eric Kripke